No Cap. | Only a Prayer.

God, this afternoon, I want You to know that You are appreciated. There are so many times in my life when I have been distracted and forgotten who You are, have been, and continuously will be.

So, in this moment, I am making time in my day and making room in my mind to put You first.

You have been so gracious to me this year. You have taken good care of my family and friends. You have protected us and covered us and kept us and built a fence around our lives that we might not fall prey to the world’s traps.

You have provided for us. There are people that don’t understand where their help comes from. But God! You have settled here. You have figured out what we needed right when we needed it most. We have not gone hungry this year, Father. We have not been homeless this year, Father. We have had clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet by the work of Your hand, Heavenly Father. And You have even given us the desires of our hearts in some areas. We have accomplished goals this year, by Your grace and mercy—and despite our neglecting You on some days!

You are better than good to us. Can we just tell You how much we love You? Can we just live for You in these next years of our earthly lives? Father, can we wait for You a bit longer? We want to see Your face but are content and proud to say we will wait for You. Can we bless Your Name by living out the purpose that You have so uniquely chosen for us?

How can we please You today, Father God? How can we make You smile on this day? Make Your desires known to us. Use us for Your will. Dwell in us. Breathe Your Holy Spirit on us. We are only asking for Your presence on this day.

Thank You for being a good Father. Thank You for being there for us at every turn. Thank You for never abandoning us. Thank You that when Your Name is called, You answer. Show up for us yet again in this day, Lord.

This I ask in Your Son, Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.

Today, I’m listening to “Settle Down” and I’m reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (Peace in His Presence Edition)

No cap. | Only a #prayer.

COVID & The Conference Call

We’re on these conference calls and you can literally hear the fear and angst in people’s voices.

I know we all have obligations and deadlines (in spite of/during) this pandemic….

But I just want to remind you that it is okay to not dial-in or to dial-in and stay on mute if you are not well or in the best head space.

Let me be the first to say: “I am not okay.” So I’m not being judgmental.

But, after this last call, I’m wishing I could share my PTO hours and EPA with a few people.

Please remember to rest.

Please remember to do at least one thing that brings you joy—DAILY.

Please put your oxygen mask on first, beloved.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Go Vote—with Your Children!

Go Vote—with Your Children!

Listen, sometimes what looks like an obstacle is actually an opportunity!

If you can, take the babies with you to vote today.

It’s a reason they are out of school and we are off work at the same time!

It’s the perfect opportunity for them to see the process and learn something.

My Joy had so many questions.

But don’t get it twisted, we definitely had the Black mom’s “don’t touch nothing… don’t ask for nothing… don’t breathe on nothing” talk before we left out the house.

And I Lysoled (I now declare this a verb… It took auto-correct six tries before it decided to let me be great) all of our outerwear when we came back in.

Then we prayed over mommy’s vote, our health and the health of the seniors that live in the building where my precinct is located (and, of course, 5-year-old-life things like play doh and her crayon colors).

Yeah it sucks that we have to vote (and actually work while we’re at home, might I add) during this period of chaos and confusion… But there is definitely a small bright side.

—Sincerely, Tyra

The Black Woman | Poem

The Black Woman | Poem

This womb

was created to create life

These hands

made to make magic

These feet and legs,

stand stronger than a pyramid,

immovable during struggles

This heart

pumps blood of Ghanaian warriors

and American freedom fighters

This hair

grows closer to the sun

each day, vivid reminder

of my royalty

She sustains a legacy

far greater than just 28 days.

The Black Woman exceeds what

most modern minds can comprehend.

She is a master of ancient ways.

—2/20/17

Support Your Friends (…Yes, for Free!)

Happy Tuesday, Family!

Supporting your friends’ small businesses doesn’t require spending all of your money.

Gotta a minute? …Yes?!

Okay, awesome! There are two ways you can support this blog and my future business goals!

FIRST: Connect with me on my blog, SincerelyTyra.com/contact. You’ll get a monthly update email with invitations to dope events that build community. I have a featured a few in the pictures below!

Share those emails with your friends and family every now and then.

Voila! First way to support us, accomplished! ✅

SECOND: Click the link: Sincerely, Tyra. Then, LIKE 👍🏾 and FOLLOW 🎯 the page.

Scroll across the top to “COMMUNITY.”

Click “INVITE FRIENDS.”

Click “ALL.” ‼️

Wait 10-15 seconds for the invitations to send.

— Simple enough, right? —

Comment “DONE ✅ ” and I’ll do the same for your FB Business Page or website. Let’s create our own promo! 🙏🏾

I know it’s seems too easy right?! Has to be a catch?! Not this time…. We tend to think that the only thing entrepreneurs want is our money.

But for many of us, genuine support is as simple as sharing, liking and helping to promote our endeavors!

It means a lot to us when we see those ❤️ buttons being pressed.

#SlayTheDream

—Sincerely, Tyra

Say it with me: “Worships can build community! Workshops can be entertaining!” …Now, ask me what they’re doing! 😉

I design flyers and marketing materials for community experiences.

Promises to My Joy, The Princess

I promise to show you how extremely talented you are.
I promise to listen before I say no.
I promise to hear your point of view.
I promise to make room for your heart’s desires.
I promise to remind you that you are the princess (and yes, I’m The Queen—although it sounds softer when you remind me).
I promise they can’t tell me nothing about you.
I promise not to stay humble when they praise you.
I promise to praise you before they ever do.
I promise, if you ask, to tell as many bedtimes stories as I can imagine.
I promise to only allow healthy people in your presence.
I promise to increase your wealth before you graduate high school.
I promise you will never lack or need to feel less than.
I promise to love you unconditionally until the end of time and then some.
—Sincerely, The Queen

Chicago Peace Project Revisited

Chicago Peace Project Revisited

(Politickin: The Chicago Peace Project participants discussing future goals, ancient societies, and their favorite cartoons while creating art in trauma-informed breakout sessions facilitated by the Teen Arts Council members.)

(Drop Me Off at the L: Teen Arts Council members facilitate an icebreaker called Mr. Taxi Driver for The Chicago Peace Project participants.)

Is it still Friday? Cool, this “Flashback Friday” is dedicated to the Chicago Peace Project and our awesome day with local artist Karen Perkins and the Teen Arts Council youth. Chicago Peace Plan is a curriculum that I created to foster meaningful exchanges between teens and youth from different neighborhoods.

As the youth talked about their future career and entrepreneurship goals, ancient civilizations and favorite clothing, I thought about the meaning of trauma-informed care. When Black boys talk about ancient history and Black girls laugh and find happiness in the moment. I kinda feel overjoyed.

Were there experiences like this for you as a young person? Share how you benefitted from it in the comments below!

–Sincerely, Tyra

#SlayTheDream #chicago #peace #project #blackboyjoy #blackgirlmagic #osc #chicagobility #chipeaceproject #art #traumainformedcare

#SlayTheDream | A Catalyst Story

#SlayTheDream | A Catalyst Story
Pictured: Audrey Petty, author of High Rise Stories: Voices From Chicago Public Housing

I was invited to sit on a panel for the community discussion of this woman, Audrey Petty’s, book entitled “High Rise Stories: Voices From Chicago Public Housing.”

Not many people know, but I grew up in the Harold Ickes homes; like anybody else, I have experienced good times and struggles.

I realized a long time ago that when you start wanting better for yourself, people might want to tear you down or destroy your vision.

But tonight, I got to share a small piece of MY story, teach other people, and even learned some history from my elders.

This event only confirmed that, in spite of any naysayers, I will still aspire to enlighten myself then help educate the younger generations.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Today’s blog is actually a repost from my Facebook Memories feed. The pictures and the recap of the experience were written on Friday, January 17, 2014 before the development of the Sincerely, Tyra website, before #SlayTheDream was conceived. For more work like the ‘Catalyst Stories’ series, visit the About Tyra page.

#SlayTheDream #myfridaynight #feelinginspired #nevertire #tytaughtyou #productofmyenvironment

Move on, Sis!

Move on, Sis!
Graphics designed by EbonySun, LLC.

Having a conversation with a good friend and she asks me about a guy that I used be involved with wondering about the “end story.”

So I told her we grew apart and let her know that I really believed he didn’t want a committed relationship.

She went on to ask how I knew that he didn’t want one. My response: “If we both wanted the same thing, we would be in a relationship right now.”

I had to explain to my friend that I knew this because he never made a deciding move. Don’t get me wrong now, we’re not on bad terms. We don’t hate each other. We simply aren’t meant to be committed to each other. And ultimately, his actions (or lack thereof) spoke for his desires.

As women, sometimes society wants us to wait around for the man to “get his mind right,” “get his stuff together,” and figure what he wants—or even, lead him into the relationship.

But sis, let me you something: You know what you deserve! Don’t let that man distract you from living the life that you want or sit around waiting for him to pick you.

GO LIVE YOUR LIFE!

The man you’re supposed be with will come along and make his intentions very well known, sis!
—Sincerely, Tyra

You are INSPIRING | #GRWM

You are INSPIRING | #GRWM

Dear Righteous and Holy Father,

I’m sure You heard me say that I would close out this year on “Cloud Nine,” praising You and blessing Your Name for all this goodness that You have done thus far….

I think right as I was saying that the devil asked You if He could try me.

There have been distractions since then; illness and bodily fatigue tried to take me out this week and last; my sense of right and wrong has been challenged; my self-confidence has been tested (and misplaced a few days); changes at work have had people on edge and lacking faith in leadership; I have had to be the example when I lacked encouragement; a few tears were shed over broken relationships; friends have expressed sorrow about situations in their lives; I have had to carry my child in the house on cold and dark nights—alone—wondering whether I’m risking her safety just getting out of the car; and most recently, My Joy’s (and, thus, my own) sleep has been disrupted by nightmares on multiple nights.

But, despite all of this, I know that You are faithful to those who seek You.

So, in this season, You will NOT have to ask me twice to be the person that You have called me to be.

I am not the same person that I was when he tried me the last time. Thankfully, I feel like You have covered me with Your grace, Holy Spirit. You will not be called a lie by the devil on my name, Father God.

My God, You are inspiring!

You are beyond good to me. You have provided and kept us when I turned the corner and found myself on Harm’s Way. You are my rest and my triumphant peace and refuge. Your heart shall not be broken my free will or choices. My stance is to choose You over everything else.

Can I worship You today, Heavenly Father? Would it please You for me to cry the Blood of Jesus over every trial in my life? If You don’t pay me any more attention this year, can I still love You?

My heart longs to be closer to You. Thank You for the touch of mercy You have presented in my life. Thank You for never abandoning me. Your staying power is unmatched.

Thank You for telling me that I am enough—even with my flaws. Your strength has helped me grow in ways I could have never imagined. Thank You for exceeding my expectations of who I can be and what I can accomplish in this earthly realm. Take over me; my spirit belongs to You. Continue making me the person You desire for me to be.

This I ask in Jesus Christ’s Name,

Amen!

This week, I’m listening to: “Incredible God, Incredible Praise.”

Today, I’m reading the book of Job, chapters 32-34.